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Weaving Storylines: A/B/C Stories (PT53)

Weaving Storylines: A/B/C Stories (PT53)

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of weaving A, B and C stories in TV writing, and interesting ways of doing it in TV scripts.

Why is it important to cut between storylines in TV? When should you start and end each storyline? Which storylines should you spend more time on in your TV script? When should you only do a single A story? What are some noteworthy and unique formats for A/B/C plotlines?

Plus, we talk about where to read TV scripts.

The Paper Team become master-weavers…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Paper Scraps (FKA Odds-and-ends): Finding TV scripts (00:55)
1 – Why does TV have A/B/C stories? (03:51)
2 – Nuts and bolts of using A/B/C stories (10:27)
3 – Interesting and non-traditional uses of weaving A/B/C stories in TV (18:22)
Takeaways and Resources (32:22)

Links

Writers Guild Foundation Library
TV Calling Script Library
Zen134237
Lee Thomson Script Library
Simply Scripts
Daily Script
IMSDb
“What are A, B, and C stories in screenwriting?” – TV Calling
Team America Montage (Video)
“Marge vs. the Monorail” (4×12 – The Simpsons)
“Ozymandias” (5×14 – Breaking Bad)
“That’s My Dog” (4×05 – Six Feet Under)
“Eleven Angry Men and One Dick” (3×07 – 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Boomtown
Graham Yost
24 (TV Series)
“Kim vs. the Cougar: The Oral History of 24’s Most Infamous Scene” – Vulture
“My Bad” (1×06 – Scrubs)
Awake (TV Series)
Kyle Killen
“How Lost revolutionized storytelling” – TV Calling
“Walkabout” (1×04 – Lost)
“The Constant” (4×05 – Lost)
Watchmen
Slaughterhouse-Five
This Is Us
Oz (TV Series)
Carnivàle
“Bowling” (2×20 – Malcom in the Middle)
Sliding Doors
“Remedial Chaos Theory” (3×04 – Community)
“Split” (3×01 – Coupling)
“A Rickle in Time” (2×01 – Rick & Morty)

Resources

“Elephant Bucks” – Sheldon Bull
“Cracking the Sitcom Code” – The Atlantic
“Television Writing from the Inside Out” – Larry Brody
Plot Threads (TV Tropes)
Plot Parallel (TV Tropes)
Two Lines, No Waiting (TV Tropes)
Four Lines, All Waiting (TV Tropes)

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

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Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

697 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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